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Opinions on selling on GunBroker?

9899 Views 14 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  johnstein11
My father passed away a few months ago. Without going into details, he had several firearms, and in acquiring his collection there were a dozen or so guns that had "sentimental value". These were guns that he'd always had and would never sell, and the rest were guns that he'd own for a while and sell/trade for something else. None of the firearms with "sentimental value" will be sold.

Before he passed, he had been planning to sell a few rifles and one of the last things he told me on his death bed was what to sell, about how much to ask, etc. I've tried the typical "local" means of selling person-to-person, and haven't had any luck. (The rifles are very nice, and definitely have a market - just not in my circle.)

I've never sold anything on GunBroker, but I've used ebay several times in the past for non-firearm related items. I don't know how their selling processes compare, but I was hoping that maybe someone could give me some tips. I understand that I would need to ship to an FFL - how difficult is that process?

Thanks in advance.
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I have bought and sold on Gunbroker for a number of years. Selling can be hit or miss. If you have a fairly desirable gun, you can get a fair price. It all depends what you have. If you have a run of the mill piece, you will be lucky to get maybe 80% of actual value, and often, even if you set a reasonable reserve (which I would certainly suggest you do) the gun will not sell. If you have a collectible, you will probably get closer to 100%, and you might even get lucky. But if it were me, and you have a true collectors piece, find a specialty forum with a classified section. You are narrowing your exposure, but putting the gun in front of avid collectors. And you will probably get a much better price.

No matter which avenue you take, make sure you take a number of high quality pictures, from all angles and showing as best you can the various parts of the gun, including internals if possible. Post as many pics as the site allows, showing the condition of your gun. Also, in your description, I would suggest Googling the gun, and including some of the interesting facts about production, rarity, performance, etc.

Remember that you will have to factor in the sellers commission, and I don't remember how much that is off the top of my head.
 

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I sold a couple on Gunbroker years ago, worked well, got good money out of both sales, and I think both sold in about a week. You may want to look into listing them here in the forums firearms listings too.

With shipping, you just have to send them to an FFL dealer, so the buyer can do the necessary paperwork. Some FFL dealers will only accept shipments from other FFL dealers though, in which case you'll have to get one to ship it for you. Also you should probably go with UPS or FedEx, the USPS has caused me some headaches in the past.
 

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I've had some trouble selling on GB. People bidding on handguns that are not legal in their state etc. If you're selling long guns it should be much easier. Good luck.
 

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Gunbroker is a great way to sell guns, especially the rare stuff.
I don't go to gun shows anymore, but in the past I would look for rare and/or scarce items that would sell better on gun broker than a local show. The rare pieces are very hard to sell in this area and can many times be picked up at a reasonable price and sold on GB for a healthy profit.

Tony
 

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Gunbroker is great. Just do some searching of ended auctions for your items to get a feel for recent prices.

Set a reserve.
Specify shipping costs
Specify your FFL costs
Give as complete description as you can.
Only accept postal money orders
Do not ship before payment is cashed in.
Include pictures

Good luck
Sorry about your Dad.
 

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Ditto to the others, I have had very good experiences buying and selling on Gunbroker, in particular on the more rare firearms.

And a selling note: U.S. Postal Money Orders can be cancelled (stop pay) just like a personal check. But you can take them to the P.O. and get cash for them before you ship the gun (the P.O. checks to make sure there is no stop pay issued when you cash it). But if you deposit a U.S. Postal Money Order in your checking account treat it like a personal check and give it time to clear. Money Orders from banks and other institutions can also be stopped and should be treated like personal checks. Another payment option is a Cashier's Check/Certified Bank Check on which you can call the issuing bank to make sure it is not stolen and then deposit it with confidence.

My buying/selling habits and tips (these are entirely my subjective opinions):
I hate hidden reserve auctions and often won't bid on them as I can't tell what the secret minimum is. But you can set the minimum bid at your bottom dollar and let buyers bid up from there. That way everyone knows where the auction actually starts. Just an alternative way to list the firearm.

End your auction around 10pm eastern time. That way more people will be home across the country that may get into a bidding war on your gun. They can put in autobids, but if they're online when your auction ends they may be more inclined to push their price up a bit more.

Don't end auctions on Friday and Saturday nights...folks are more likely off doing other things.

I run my auctions for 5 days, with the theory being the auction is long enough for folks to find the gun, but not so long that they forget about it. Pay for the "Number of Views" counter. It can help make your gun listing look "busy."

You'll get emails from guys trying to buy your gun direct from you outside of the auction for "cash now" but less than you are asking. Politely reply "thanks, but no thanks." The more of these emails you get the more likely you've listed a desirable gun that will bring more at auction.

Be patient. Sometimes a gun won't get any bids on the first or second auction cycle (say 5 days in my example), but on the third auction cycle (I use auto renewal to keep relisting the gun until it sells) you might get two guys trying to outbid each other who will push the price through the roof.

Good luck!
 

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Definitely worth a try if what you have is rare or niche. If it's more common, I'd suggest trying to sell locally first. I've uniformly gotten more money, without the hassle of shipping, selling face to face. Lots of people like to poo-poo Facebook, but the gun selling groups there made selling guns a very quick, easy, and profitable experience.
 

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Why not set a minimum price rather then a reserve auction. I won't bid on a reserve auction, before I do a search the first thing I do is click the box to get rid of reserve auctions. They are a pain they are normally set absurdly high and are a waste of time. By setting a minimum, the bidder can check your auction and bid without the frustration.
 

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Agreed. A reserve auction is nothing more than retail. Then add shipping and transfer fees. That's why the bulk of my buying is private sales. We are lucky to have a state forum that allows sales.
 

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Please accept my condolences on your father's passing.
The only issue I ever had with Gunbroker was that I didn't completely trust the seller. He just wouldn't answer questions to my satisfaction. With that said, here's the bad if you want to know. Scroll down to the reviews: EDIT: Link removed. I think it would be a violation of GlockTalk TOS. You can perform a Google search and find the problems both for sellers and buyers.
 

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One other avenue to pursue is armslist or your local firearms site like texasguntrader, Tennesseearms, floridagunowners etc...

You may get lowballers, but a polite no thanks will do. Depending on the firearm and your location will determine what price and how fast it can sell. Be patient. Also, I wouldn't try to sell to a gunshop, you'll get a low offer. Look around on GB, buds etc to see what fair current prices are.
 
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